Tennis Australia Chief Cast Doubts Over Tennis Resuming In 2020 - UBITENNIS
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Tennis Australia Chief Cast Doubts Over Tennis Resuming In 2020

Will there be another grand slam this year?

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The head of the Australian Tennis Association believes it will be ‘tough’ for tennis to resume in the coming weeks due to the global nature of the sport.

 

Craig Tiley, who is also the tournament director of the Australian Open, has told The Sydney Morning Herald that he was unsure if another grand slam tournament could be played this year. Both the ATP and WTA Tours have been suspended until June due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A period that is likely to be extended with Wimbledon reportedly set to announce that their tournament will be cancelled on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, both the ATP and WTA are reconstructing their calendars to see when they will be able to resume play again and what tournaments will be included. Recently the French Tennis Federation (FFT) moved the French Open to the week after the US Open. A move that has prompted criticism from many.

However Tiley is sceptical as to if either major event could take place later this year due to the worldwide travel restrictions. The heads of the men’s and women’s tour have recently said they were hopeful but unsure as to when tournaments will get underway again.

“My personal view is I think for tennis to come back this year is going to be tough,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“It relies on global travel, and I think that’s probably the last thing that’s going to come back. I think sports that have a domestic focus are in a strong position and sports that have a global focus are more challenged.”

Despite the bleak outlook, Tiley is optimistic that the Australian Open will be able to get underway on time. The major is set to take place during January 18-31. The last time the Australian Open didn’t take place was back in 1986 due to the changing of dates. The event moved from their December slot to January.

“We’re looking at that right now,” he said. “But we’re planning running the AO 2021 and planning on having a great season.
“We’ve got to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Tomorrow morning we [could] wake up and there is some miracle cure or some concoction of drugs that really helps, or they’re on a path to a vaccine. [But] from all the literature you read, it doesn’t seem likely in the immediate future.
“What I want to do as an organisation [is] I want to plan for it being really difficult for people to be travelling this year from country to country. I think within the country will be fine. [When] you can travel globally is when tennis can come back, from a pro level. From a local level, we can start right away and that’s what we would be focused on at the beginning.”

Tiley has been the head of Tennis Australia since 2013.

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Anett Kontaveit beats Elisabetta Cocciaretto to reach the semifinal at the Palermo Ladies Open

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Number 4 seed and world number 22 Anett Kontaveit ended Italian teenager Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1 4-6 6-1 to reach the semifinals at the 31st edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo. Kontaveit broke serve seven times and hit five aces. 

 

Kontaveit, who reached the Australian Open quarter final, broke twice and saved two break points in the second game to race out to a 4-0 lead. Cocciaretto got her first game on the scoreboard in the sixth game to avoid the bagel before Kontaveit served out the first set in the next game. 

Cocciaretto earned an early break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead. Cocciaretto earned three game points for 5-2 in the seventh game, but Kontaveit broke back in a marathon seventh game. The second set ended with four consecutive breaks, as Cocciaretto claimed the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1 win in the third set after 1 hour and 54 minutes. The Estonian player set up a semifinal clash against Martic in a re-match of last February’s quarter final in Dubai. 

“It was really tough tonight. She played great and she had the home crowd definitely behind her. I am really happy with how I fought in the third set and that I managed to turn it around in the end”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic secures her spot in the semifinal in Palermo after hard-fought win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich

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Top seed and world number 15 Petra Martic from Croatia secured her spot in the semifinal at the 31st edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo after a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) win over former world number 30 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus. Martic produced 54 winners to 23 unforced errors. 

 

Martic fought back from a break down in the opening set and secured a hard-fought win on her fourth match points, as she served for the match twice in the second tie-break. 

The first set went on serve in the first eight games before Sasnovich broke serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Martic broke straight back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. The Croatian player fended off three break points at 5-5 and did not convert her first set point in Sasnovich’s service game. 

Martic led 5-3 in the tie-break, but Sasnovich won the next two points to draw level to 5-5. Martic hit a forehand that forced a Sasnovich error and an unreturned serve to close out the tie-break after 75 minutes. 

Martic broke twice in the first and fifth games to build up a 4-1 lead in the second set. Sasnovich pulled one of the two breaks back in the sixth game. Sasnovich trailed 40-15 at 5-4 on Martic’s serve, but she saved both match points. The Belarusian player later fended off another match point after deuce to draw level to 5-5. Martic broke again in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead, but Sasnovich broke straight back at 15 to force the second set to the second tie-break. Martic won five of the final six points to win the tie-break 7-3 reaching her second semifinal of the season after Dubai. 

“Overall, it was a great fight. I knew she was not going to give up until the match was over, and that’s what she proved once again. I think today was better than yesterday. There was some things that I was happy with, some things that I am not really happy with, but I am really just happy that I managed to win this match in two sets. I had two tough matches and my body’s holding up well. I have no major issues, just maybe soreness that I am sure we all have in the first tournament back. It feels nice to be reminded of how it feels to be that kind of tired, but all in all, I am happy. I had some good weeks of practice and it’s paying off”, said Martic. 

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Dayana Yastremska reaches quarter finals in Palermo

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Number 7 seed Dayana Yastremska cruised past Oceane Dodin 6-2 6-4 after 1 hour and 17 minutes. The young Ukrainian player fired 11 aces and converted three of the four break points in the opening set. 

 

Yastremska saved a break point in the opening game before breaking twice in the second and sixth games to race out to a 5-1 lead. Dodin got a break back, as Yastremska was serving for the set. Yastremska sealed the first set in the eighth game, as Dodin made a double fault. 

Both players traded breaks early in the second set and stayed neck and neck until the 10th game. Dodin saved a match point in the 10th game, but Yastremska secured the second match point with a backhand return to seal the second set 6-4. 

Yastremska hit 39 winners to just 7 unforced errors. 

Earlier this year Yastremska upset 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in Doha. Dodin reached two consecutive quarter finals in St. Petersburg and Lyon. 

“I am very happy to be in a quarter final after so long of playing no tournaments. It was a good match, starting pretty late. All day, I had to be very focused to stay in a good way with the mind”, said Yastremska.   

Yastremska set up a quarter final match against Italy’s Camila Giorgi, who came back from one set down to beat Slovenian 19-year-old Kaja Juvan. 

Yastremska beat Giorgi 6-3 6-3 in their only previous clash at Wimbledon in 2019. Giorgi joins her compatriots Sara Errani and 19-year-old Elisabetta Cocciaretto in the quarter finals. 

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